Benz LP vs. Dynavector XV-1s

Has anyone compared the Benz LP with the Dynavector XV-1s? I am going to upgrade my cartridge soon. Currently I am using the Lyra Helikon (standard version). Thanks.
Both are excellent phono cartridges but are quite different. I currently own a Benz Lp cartridge and have for several years and am very happy with it. I do not own the dynavector but have heard it and it to is a fine performer. The Benz lp is rich sounding with great full body mid and low bass. The LP is dynamic and fat but has a great musical presence and is exceptional with vocal material. The only fault of the Benz line is that they do not have the detail and speed of there Japanese or German counterparts But with the passage of time I have come to realize that extracting the last bit of detail is not everything and to me balance is more important in enjoying the musical experience. The Dynavector had more speed and detail compared to the Benz Lp and also has a faster tempo in general so some people might prefer this quality over the fatter body and somewhat slower Benz Lp. I could live with either cartridge as both are top notch products so it comes down to personal taste if you want more speed and detail (Dynavector) or a fatter and very rich sound with full body bass (Benz). Take you pick and enjoy.


Are you familiar with the Helikon? How do the Benz LP and the Dynavector XV-1 compare? The Helikon, Benz LP and Benz Ruby 3 are on my short-list for next cartridge upgrade. Thanks!

No I am not personally familar with the Helikon. The impression I get from people that have owned it is that the Helikon is a good performer at it's price point of about 2k retail but does not compete with the LP or XV-1s. If you could find a new or near new Helikon for $1200-1400 it would be a good value but it will not match the top Benz or Dynavector products. I have also owned a Benz Ruby H over a two year period and it too was very good. Very similar in tonal quality to the LP but less refigned and a half click lower in quality to the LP but still excellent. I think I would personally perfer the Benz ruby 3 over the Helikon because of the great full body tone the Ruby has but hear again it is a mater of taste as some people might perfer the leaner but faster Helikon.


The Benz LP does not have the resolution of the Dynavector. Nor is it as fast and open. It is a beutiful sounding cartridge, but the Dynavector is much more lifelike and I would differ from Johnny's opinion and say in my experience, the XV-1S is quite a bit more explosive and dynamic.

I have owned and tried many cartridges. If I had to characterize the Dynavector, I would say it combines the best attributes of both the top of the line van Den Hul and Koetsu cartridges.

Great cartridge.

As a disclaimer, the Dynavector is the only cartridge I decided to cary specifically due to the above reasons.
Johny is right. I heard in my friend's system the Benz LP which is very full and rich sounding. I currently own a Helikon that is fast and quite detail. I also believe it is not in the same league as the LP. Depending on your system and taste, either the Benz Ruby H or the Helikon is good. I personally like speed and detail and the Helikon has not disappointed me.

By the way, I am now selling the Helikon. Drop me an email if interested. Thanks.

I'm "thinking" about moving from a Helicon to a Titan. Have you personally compared the Titan to the Dynavector? Table is SME 20/2 SME IV.Vi arm. Thanks
Jfrech: The Titan is an interesting cartridge. It is fast and dynamic with very good resolution. I would say the Dynavector is more natural with better body, texture and is more open. From memory they are similar in dynamics.

The Dynavector mates extremely well with the SME 20/2 and IV.Vi arm. I would slightly up the tracking force over the recommended amount.
Dear Audiolui: +++++ " Dynavector is much more lifelike .. " +++++

This is the Jtinn opinion and I agree with him ( btw, extraordinary speakers you have. Awesome. Congratulations. ). The XV-1 perhaps is one of the three best cartridges ever made. No one can goes wrong with this Dynavector choice, it does not matters which are their musical priorities. This cartridge needs the right tonearm ( like any other cartridge ) and a phono stage at its same performance level.

Audiolui, if you like the Helikon sound reproduction, my advise is that go for the Titan. You will be very satisfied.

From the Helikon to the other cartridges named in this thread: I own or owned all of them. No, the Benz Micro ( very good cartridges ) ones don't meet the performance level of the XV-1. Now, the Titan is closer but the XV-1 has a better tonal balance and neutrality than the Titan.

All those cartridges named in the thread are really a top performers and the preferences for one of them dependes on many things: tonearm, TT, phonopreamp, musical taste, accuracy of our ears, our whole audio system, etc., if we have the right synergy between all this " things " any of those top cartridges can be our " cup of tea ". To say which is better is a subjective question and of course a very personal answer.

Unfortunatelly we can't find a dealer that can borrowed all those cartridges to do a test in our homes.

Regards and enjoy the music.
What a shock! A dealer posting his preference for something he sells over something he doesn't. I don't believe it!
Have you tried or experienced the Dynavector XV-1s on a Graham 2.2? Thanks.
I own a Lyra helikon, used to own a Benz Ruby2 low ouput and recently upgraded the Dynavector XV-1 to XV-1s.
I would whoheartly agree with Raul and Jtinn (even if he is a dealer :) that the XV-1 is significantly better than either the helikon or Ruby.
The ruby in my system seemed to be dark and rather grainy compared to either the helikon or XV-1. Some may say the ruby is a good choice for a brighter system, I would disagree with that. the XV-1 is a lot more natural and relaxed, so it seems to be easier to listen to than the benz regardless.
the helikon is very fast and neutral, however seems to lack the life and natural harmonics that the XV-1 has. I still have the helikon on my other armwand so would like to try the Titan on day.

The XV-1s compared to the XV-1 maintains its great naturalness but adds a little more transparancy and purity in the treble and maybe a little firmer in the bass.

I have not heard the benz Lp, however a friend of mine has the LP and VDH Frog and he seems to prefer the Frog's more vibrant view of music.
Thanks for sharing your experience with these cartridges. It seems more people prefer the XV-1s.
I have not heard the Dynavector,so cannot comment.I am intimately familiar with the sound of the Helicon,in my friend's set-up.He is an AVID and FANATICAL record collectoer,so I've heard a very wide variety of program material.He has recently had the Titan,which replaced the Helicon.He now has the "New and Updated" Titan.Here are my observations,as well as almost all of our listening group.

The Helicon was,and is, a fabulous product,for the money!One need make NO excuses for owning it!The Titan significantly outperforms it,in virtually any meaningful area.Especially the newer,and improved Titan.

The Titan excels in "subtle inner detail",and very fine dynamic shadings.It really has to be heard on a great system,to appreciate what it can do.My pal has a superb system,and a wonderful analog front end,so,he really maximizes the (any) cartridge's potential.His set-up consists of CJ ART linestage/phonostage,with CJ Premier amps(for mid on up),and Krell amps driving his woffer towers (yes,two towers,Raul)!

Just as a point of perspective,I'll add:we were over his home recently,before the heat wave set in(as he runs a total of 42 tubes)which raise the room temp really fast,in summer.He was playing the "first pressing" Decca,of Ted Heath- "Music of the Big Band Era".A jazz version of the Mercury-"The Composer and His Orchestra".WOW--The Titan's dynamics(in this improved version),coupled with the incredibly palpable timbral accuracy,simply blew us all away.Inner details,that really allowed us to hear reeds clicking,as well as a plethora of fine detail.

All in all a STUNNING cartridge!!BTW-I don't own it,so my comments are purely my opinion,in a friend's set-up.Best wishes!
Well, I think, there are two ways out there:
The first from those designers, who are able to "improve" their former design, of course in a way, that the newer is "much" better and they can do it for years and years.
All owners are proud to own that " newest, updated MK3.5.2 " product, the question is, "how long" ? To avoid that question, a test report is needed ( an enthusiastic one of course ).
And then is another group of designers, a few, I think, which are able to do it right the first time.
Unfortunately, some of these are not really mad for reviews ...
Taste and listening is different.
Stanhifi: What a shock! Another sarcastic statement and nothing to contribute.
What's worse? Shilling or non-contribution.
You meant there is a newer Titan out there. How do we tell the old one from the new? Do they say MK II or something? Thanks for sharing your opinion.
Call it what you will, but when I have read Jtinn's comments over the years on gear I am familiar with, including the XV-1s, those comments have been very accurate. This applies to product he does and does NOT sell. Therefore Stan, now you know my answer to your question.

FWIW,I am doing a shootout right now of a XV-1s and a ZYX UNIverse, copper and silver versions. I will post my results soon if there is any interest in the results.

Now I've got to get back to my Marcel Marceau record.
Don't laugh, its great for testing background noise levels!
>>now you know my answer to your question.<<

I respect your opinion as well however wrong you may be. I too have read his posts and they are replete with salesmanship which IMO is out of place here. Enjoy!!
Stanhifi: Why when it is fully disclosed that Ii am a dealer for a product is it shilling? I sell a product and use it because I prefer it to others. You buy a product and you use it because you feel it is better than others.

As a dealer, I have access to carry and use almost any product out there. I choose the products I prefer sonically and many think I have an accurate ear. Should you have a problem with it, maybe you should tell your therapist. I am answering a question posted, which I have every right to do. I would rather hear your opinion focusing on Audiolui's question, than seeing you target me or anyone else with this petty bulls%$#t.

I am sure you have quite a bit of positive feedback to contribute.
Audiolui,by now I suppose all Titans are the newer model.I know of no way,other than a trusted dealer to distinguish the two,as I am not an owner.Just an admirer!!However the newer one is definitely an audible improvement,though the older one was not chopped liver.Best wishes.
IMO retailers, wholesalers, and tradespersons have no business posting here disclosure notwithstanding. It is a conflict of interest pure and simple. I really don't want to hear "I can be objecive" because anytime there's money involved the chance of a tainted post exists. Private email between the parties is the only ethical communication.
I really appreciate every opinion you all provide in this thread. I want to get a general consensus about what people feel about the Benz LP and the Dyna XV-1s.

Please be nice to each other. Audiophile community is such a small social circle. At the end of the day, we just want to have fun. Thanks again.
jgk1017 has it right. People in the audio business should contact posters direct via email if they have something to sell and/or choose to offer advice not "advertise" in these threads. However I don't expect that will happen; the profit potential generally outweighs ethical behavior. That being said, anybody in the business should disclose same in EVERY post to eliminate any doubt regarding their interests.
I agree that people in the business should disclose their interest before giving their opinions. I am glad that Jtinn did.
I think Mr. jgk1017 and Mr. Stanhifi responses are both accustatory, non-contributory, and self-serving and do nothing to better this thread or this forum.

Further to this old Thread, today on May 21st 2007 there are a few Dynavector XV-1's and Benz LP for sale here on the Gon. I must decide in a couple of days. I currently have a Benz Ruby 2H. Help please!!!! Tonearm is SME V newly rewired. TT is Sota Cosmos IV and a highly modified ARC Ref Phono with 3 sets of inputs 48db, 58db thru Lundhals 9206 and 69db thru Jenzen's. Thanks, Sly
They both are very good cartridges. I personally own a XV-1s. IMO, if you system is already very full sounding, I would go for the XV-1s. Benz LP tends to be a bit on the thick side (I heard in my friend's sytem). So the Benz may be a better match with a leaner sounding system.

Nice to see you enjoying your XV-1x.

I used to have a Ruby3 on my Orbe SE/Mørch DP-6. I have since upgraded to Acutus/507MKII/XV-1s (and Shelter 90X as backup). It's of course difficult to compare these two cartridges since I have not had them on the same turntables, but I have had different cartridges on both turntables. And heard both cartridges on different tables (SME20/V/Steelhead and VPI SuperScoutmaster/Herron). So I will give it a try.

The Benz is warm sounding and doesn't have the tightest bass (the Lyro Argo is better in this regard). I have since had a Dynavector Te Kaitora Rua on the Avid as well. But I had to let it go, the XV-1s was so much better sounding. It's much tighter in the bass, more detailed and most important, never stressed. The best I have ever heard. It's both smooth and dynamic. And extremely detailed. More refined than the Benz, and more neutral, but still sounding smooth and definitely not analytical. (As I have found the Titan sounding some times. I have been told the new Titan "i" is fuller sounding).

That was not a direct answer to your question, but I don't think you can go wrong with the XV-1s. Good luck.
I did also had the Koetsu Urushi Black in direct comparision with the XV-1s. Just to let you know.